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Local TV Notes: Lake County's Star Trek Landing Party, A Local Face Off Finalist & The Return Of Chicago's King Counterfeiter

Because it's on.

1. Lake County On Stun.

From the Sun-Times:

So, you're a dedicated Star Trek fan and you think you know everything there is to know about the show and its spinoff movies?" the Sun-Times

You might want to think again. Unless you already know Spock got caught cheating at chess, that is.

While researching the papers of Star Trek movie writer/director Nicholas Meyer, College of Lake County professors John and Maria Jose Tenuto uncovered 800 behind-the-scenes photos from his 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (along with production memos, drafts of scripts, etc.) that have never been released to the public.

They'll present roughly 100 of them during their History of Star Trek program Thursday in Vernon Hills - along with other previously unknown Trek treasures.

The deets from the College of Lake County:

Star Trek fans are invited to enjoy a trivia-filled, free presentation, The History of Star Trek: From Concept to Screen, at 7 p.m. on March 21 at Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

The presenters, College of Lake County sociology instructors John and Maria Jose Tenuto, used Star Trek movie director Nicholas Meyer's idea that 'art thrives on limitations' as a case study for researching the making of the famous 1967 episode, 'Space Seed,' starring Ricardo Montalban as the villain Khan. (The famous actor later reprised the role of Khan in the Star Trek IImovie from 1982, directed by Nicholas Meyer.)

Using rare materials from the archives of UCLA and the University of Iowa, the Tenutos obtained permission to gather all the production information, memos and versions of scripts together and have unearthed previously unknown information about the making of the episode. The presentation highlights the special attention that writers and special effects artists made to producing an enduring legacy despite budgetary, technological, cultural and other production limitations. The presentation will include rare behind-the-scenes photos and a history of the Star Trek TV show and movies.

The program is free, but registration is advised by visiting http://tinyurl.com/a5lkgel. The library is located at 701 Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.

More:

* Nearly 70 people had signed up as of last week.

* The college "periodically offers a course in Star Trek Anthropology."

* Star Trek events on campus go back at least a few years.

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In 2011, TribLocal wrote:

John Tenuto has been a Star Trek fan since his mom bought him the original Mego Enterprise Bridge play set from a Montgomery Ward bargain basement when he was 5.

He still has that set, in addition to a remake of the set - and thousands of other Star Trek figures and pieces of memorabilia.

The avid 'Trekkie' - a term Tenuto prefers over 'Trekker' - is also a sociology teacher at the College of Lake County. He's been using his sci-fi geek-expertise to relate to students for years, ever since he saw a correlation between problems in the Trek world and problems in the real world.

And thus, the enduring appeal of the show.

*

More Tenuto!

The Sociology of '70s Sitcoms Part 1:

*

The Sociology of '70s Sitcoms Part 2:

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2. Face Off Finalist.

"Effects makeup specialist, Westmont-based J. Anthony Kosar, 27-year old award-winning, artist, creature designer, sculptor, theatre, film and commercials special effects creator and more, is one of 14 fiercely talented effects makeup artists competing on Season 4 of SyFy Channel's Face Off," Reel Chicago reported way back in January.

Well, Anthony has made it to the grand finale, which will be broadcast on Tuesday. You can see how he got there on this cool Wikipedia chart and also see the official episode recaps.

And here's his audition tape:

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3. The Chicago King of Counterfeiting.

CNBC's American Greed recently re-ran the episode about Art Williams Jr., Chicago's one-time counterfeit king. Williams' saga also spawned a book, which we'll turn to first via Amazon for background:

Art Williams spent his boyhood in a comfortable middle-class existence in 1970s Chicago, but his idyll was shattered when, in short order, his father abandoned the family, his bipolar mother lost her wits, and Williams found himself living in one of Chicago's worst housing projects.

He took to crime almost immediately, starting with petty theft before graduating to robbing drug dealers. Eventually a man nicknamed "DaVinci" taught him the centuries-old art of counterfeiting.

After a stint in jail, Williams emerged to discover that the Treasury Department had issued the most secure hundred-dollar bill ever created: the 1996 New Note.

Williams spent months trying to defeat various security features before arriving at a bill so perfect that even law enforcement had difficulty distinguishing it from the real thing. Williams went on to print millions in counterfeit bills, selling them to criminal organizations and using them to fund cross-country spending sprees. Still unsatisfied, he went off in search of his long-lost father, setting in motion a chain of betrayals that would be his undoing.

In The Art of Making Money, journalist Jason Kersten details how Williams painstakingly defeated the anti-forging features of the New Note, how Williams and his partner-in-crime wife converted fake bills into legitimate tender at shopping malls all over America, and how they stayed one step ahead of the Secret Service until trusting the wrong person brought them all down.

Now, the CNBC teaser.

*

Finally, the whole episode.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on March 20, 2013


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